By June Glazer
No. 38 is the newest fire truck in Jerusalem. Weighing in at 12 tons of red fiberglass and pulled by a 240-horsepower engine, it is capable of driving over steep hills, rocks, and ditches, and is perfectly suited for the terrain of Israel's capital city and its surrounding forests.
Last week, family and friends gathered at a fire station in Jerusalem's Givat Mordechai neighborhood to dedicate No. 38 in memory of fallen American firefighter Captain David L. Bailey from Los Angeles, California. Captain Bailey, who died in the line of duty in 2012, was known as a "fireman's fireman," and the truck, which will bear his name in perpetuity, testifies to the esteem in which he was held by those who knew and loved him.
"Dave was one of the most highly certified firefighters in the Los Angeles County Fire Department," said Sam Heller, Bailey's good friend and the force behind acquiring the fire truck for the Jerusalem fleet. "At his funeral, which was attended by over 2,000 firefighters, the fire chief who spoke asked all those assembled to rise. Then he listed multiple accreditations and one by one asked the firefighters to remain standing if they held that accreditation. After going through a long list of possible accreditations all fighters were seated, to which the Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief said, 'If Captain David L. Bailey was among us today, he would still be standing. That's the kind of professional firefighter Dave was.'"